CNBC ORIGINAL TAKES VIEWERS INSIDE THE MOST DARING, ANTICIPATED AND SCRUTINIZED AIRPLANE IN COMMERCIAL AVIATION HISTORY
One-Hour Documentary Reported by CNBC’s Phil LeBeau Premieres on Tuesday, September 27th at 9PM ET/PT on CNBC
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., September 19, 2011—On Tuesday, September 27th at 9PM ET/PT CNBC presents “Dreamliner: Inside the World’s Most Anticipated Airplane,” a CNBC original that takes a behind-the-scenes look at aircraft manufacturer Boeing as it scrambles to deliver its long-delayed and revolutionary new airliner—the 787 Dreamliner. With significant access inside the company, CNBC Correspondent Phil LeBeau brings viewers to the factory floor and inside the executive suite to follow the high-stakes story of one of the last great American manufacturing companies.
For almost a decade, Boeing has promised the Dreamliner would revolutionize the flying experience for millions of passengers frustrated with air travel. The plane will offer more humidity in the cabin, 65% larger windows that dim when touched, a quieter interior, and lighting that gradually adjusts during a flight. With the Dreamliner, Boeing is trying to accomplish a seemingly impossible feat: making flying enjoyable again. Airline executives and analysts say the new aircraft WILL be a game changer that travelers seek out when booking a flight. But skeptics disagree, arguing it all comes down to the service a passenger receives from the airline itself. Can the Dreamliner restore the luster of flying?
The delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner to All Nippon Airlines (ANA) is a long-awaited milestone for Boeing. CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, captured the tightly choreographed assembly process in the sprawling Boeing plant in Everett, Washington, showing how pieces of the Dreamliner, made around the world, come together to create one airplane. But getting the aircraft from the drawing board to the airport has, in many instances, been more of a nightmare than a dream. It’s three years and billions of dollars behind schedule…and these setbacks have been well documented. Boeing has long built most of its planes in the Seattle area, but to save money and share some of the financial risk the company outsourced nearly 70% of the plane’s production abroad, creating a vast, complex supply chain that sometimes threatened to bring the project to its knees. Airlines that ordered the plane because of its promised fuel efficiency are demanding, and receiving, price breaks and compensation from Boeing. The program looks at how Boeing got this multi-billion dollar jet back on track and began restoring its reputation.
The documentary also looks at the other side of Boeing: defense. Although helping the U.S. wage war has long been a major and lucrative part of the company’s business, it’s also been plagued by a series of scandals. Boeing is now bracing itself for cuts in defense spending at home and turning increasingly to foreign customers. CNBC takes a close look at Boeing’s newest weapon—a drone called the Scan Eagle, which weighs less than a typical carry-on bag, and costs roughly $100,000.
CNBC also looks at the widening rift between Boeing and the International Aerospace Machinists Union (the Machinists) who have gone on strike five times in the last 30 years. When Boeing looked for a place to add another assembly line for its new 787, it chose Charleston, SC, where the workers are not in a union and the assembly line could not be stopped by a strike. The company now finds itself in a fight with the federal government, an issue that could get more complicated if it decides to use the Charleston plant to build a new, re-engined version of its 737—already the most successful commercial aircraft in history.
For more information including slideshows and web extras, log onto: dreamliner.cnbc.com.
Mitch Weitzner is the Senior Executive Producer of “Dreamliner: Inside the World’s Most Anticipated Airplane.” Wally Griffith is the Senior Producer. Deborah Camiel, Oliver Miede, and Meghan Reeder are Producers. Ray Borelli is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming.
CNBC’s “Dreamliner: Inside the World’s Most Anticipated Airplane” will re-air on Tuesday, September 27th at 10PM ET/PT.
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